Automation in the hospitality industry is often seen as the preserve of the large hotel chains. In fact, larger operators are twice as likely to use an automated management system than smaller, independent hotels.
However, upgrading to an automated hotel management system can significantly benefit smaller hotel operators too, not just in terms of savings but also improved efficiency and customer service. And this all adds up to an affordable alternative to manual processes that can help the smallest hotel team thrive in the increasingly competitive hotel and hospitality sector.
From online check-in and customer communication to streamlined admin, there are many reasons why cloud-based hotel management software is not just for the hospitality big boys as SabeeApp’s UK business development manager Kenny Arnott outlines.
Investing in an automated hotel management system can seem like a big step for any small hotel or operation. However, it’s recognised that as the power of new tech increases, the price drops in correlation. So, with high-performing systems now affordable and available to smaller independent hotels or chains, it is an investment that is more than worth it.
Moving from a manual system to a paperless, technology-driven hotel management solution means a small hotel, or an accommodation provider such as a multi sire Airbnb operator, can run more efficiently, effectively, and creatively with the team and resources they already have.
We live in the smart-tech age, and so whatever the size of your hotel, using mobile technology is a natural, instinctive progression. And for smaller operations with a team that’s already multi-tasking, the convenience of a ‘one-stop-shop’ when it comes to the hotel’s day-to-day running can make all the difference.
Hotel management software puts a hotel’s essential functions right at your fingertips, from managing bookings and room allocation to back-office accounting and reporting. It can even be accessed when off-site, via your smartphone or other mobile devices.
This ability to work remotely gives you and your team extra freedom to support other functions of your hotel or spend more quality time helping your guests. Cloud based systems ensure that all your data is stored securely for added peace of mind.
Small hotels tend to have smaller staff teams that work hard to provide exceptional service for their guests. With a manual system, this means it can be easy for the paperwork and repetitive tasks to take up a disproportionate amount of their time.
Switching to an automated hotel management system can resolve this issue by saving you and your staff precious time and helping to make the running of your hotel more efficient. And that can save you money in the long run, both in terms of reducing costs and in minimising administration or double-booking errors.
Designed to support your staff, integrating automation systems into your hotel management can also work across every function and department, releasing your team to spend more time where they are needed.
In a smaller hotel, space can be at a premium, meaning hoteliers often need to balance the need for a welcoming front desk without overcrowding the lobby. And with some hotels removing the reception desk altogether in favour of a self-check-in kiosk, there is a lot to consider.
Whichever route you decide to take with your hotel reception, an automated service can positively streamline the front desk, while enhancing its efficiency. A cloud-based hotel management system will bring all your guests’ information, reservation details, room availability, invoices, housekeeping, and related administration together in one place – with no ‘overstuffed’ lever arch files. It also gives you the option of an automated check-in service for out of hours or offering your guests the convenience of checking in online.
As well as a smoother check-in and check-out service, automated systems work to improve guests’ experience of your hotel during their stay and beyond. Secure payments, tools for booking additional services and 24/7 availability are just some of the automated options on offer. Some systems also offer your guests the opportunity to provide instant feedback, which is a proactive way to quickly resolve any issues and reduce customer complaints.
A small hotel can increase its revenue by creating guest profiles that provide a much more personalised service. This can include tailored communication, personalised support during a guest’s stay and targeted offers that enhance their experience and ultimately build greater customer loyalty.
Automated systems that include a Channel Manager can increase occupancy rates as well as take the stress out of managing online bookings by synchronising rate and availability in real time. It also helps prevent over-bookings. Integrating with online travel agencies (OTAs) and booking sites, allows the offer of a seamless service with the latest rates, offers and availability across all your OTAs. And this means you can distribute your hotel rooms to significantly more potential customers than using your own website and social media alone.
An automated hotel management system provides you with a wealth of information that you can use to improve the service you offer your guests.
Monitoring your hotel’s real-time performance via hotel management software will help improve efficiency by identifying which services are most in demand and when you need to allocate more resources.
By accurately recording guest data, you will also have all the essential information you need to identify guest preferences and trends. In turn, this can feed into your ongoing marketing and pricing strategy to maximise your bookings year-round.
Secure, convenient, personalised and user-friendly, hotel automation is the key to success in an evolving marketplace for small, independent hotels. By installing an automated system, you can have the edge over many of your smaller hotel competitors, ensuring your business is set up to thrive.
Ultimately, an automated hotel management system is also about your people. It means your staff team will have the latest tools and integrated online resources to meet and exceed the needs of your guests. And that is another sure-fire way to keep your customers coming back for more.
SabeeApp is an innovative all-in-one hotel management system which means less admin and more revenue for hotel operators and accommodation providers at the same time as happier guests. SabeeApp, with PMS software, Channel Manager, Booking Engine costs from £74 per property per month with no long-term commitment and no hidden fees. Additional modules such as GuestAdvisor and Housekeeping apps are also available.
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